Bullied for her smile, Brandon teen will receive free dental work

A Brandon teenager will soon have her “perfect smile.”

Eryangelie, 13, won a contest with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office – called the Perfect Smile Contest – where she will receive a new set of braces, for free.

The braces and dental work will be provided by Stubbs Orthodontics in Brandon.

The teen said her classmates often taunted her because of her teeth, so she avoided smiling. But when Dr. Stubbs finishes her dental work, she may never stop smiling.

"People criticize easily, especially boys," she said in a Facebook video by the sheriff's office. "They just start judging what they first see, and I guess that my mouth, my teeth were the first thing that they see."

Her mother, Melissa, said paying for the braces as a single parent wasn't an option. She said Medicaid would pay 70 percent, but she would need to come up with the remaining $4,000.

Dr. Stubbs said it would take about two years to fix her underbite and teeth crowding. Eryangelie's journey began on Tuesday. After that, she said she will feel both "confident and appreciative."